The administration has launched a massive drive in Cox’s Bazar to ensure the safe travel of tourists to the coastal district, which boasts the longest unbroken beach in the world, amid an increase in tourist arrivals.
“We’ve tightened security in Cox’s Bazar beach and other tourist spots in the district so that no tourist feels insecure,” said Cox's Bazar Superintendent of Police Md Hasanuzzaman.
District Deputy Commissioner Md Mamunur Rashid said that apart from the tourist police district police also work to ensure the safety of the tourists coming to Cox's Bazar.
“We are always trying to solve all kinds of problems for the safety of the tourists. The district administration has a separate tourist cell where full-time magistrates work,” he said.
The beach city witnessed a massive influx of tourists recently when the travellers have to struggle for transport tickets and hotel accommodations.
Amid such a rush of domestic and foreign travellers, a female tourist was gang-raped in the city requiring the administration and security agencies to get more active for improving security for the tourists.
Tourist Police Cox's Bazar Zone Senior SP Md Zillur Rahman said personnel of his force are working relentlessly to ensure the safety of tourists.
Officials of local administration say the gang rape is a stray incident but still they have taken all necessary steps to ensure fool-proof security and check recurrence of such incident;
Hoteliers and tour operators believe that the incident will not have any long-term effect on the booming tourism business of Cox’s Bazar but they suggest strengthening security in the interest of the development of the sector.
They say the size of the tourist police force should be increased and they should be equipped with modern technology to provide security for the tourists.
"Tourist police remain deployed at the tourist spots, including the beach, and our guests feel safe," said Rezaul Karim, the tour operator.
Tourists say they would have been more interested to visit Cox’s Bazar had they seen more tourist police on the beach and in the other attractions.
"Tourist police personnel can be seen on the beach. But their number is too little compared to the tourist arrivals,” said Helal Khan who came to the beach city on Thursday with his family and friends.
Sumon Salauddin, a tourist from Khulna who came to Cox's Bazar two days ago with his family, said that after dusk various alleys darkened. “In addition to the beach, there is a need to strengthen security in the alleys where tourists roam.”
Advocate Saki A Kauser, a senior lawyer and human rights activist in Cox's Bazar, said the tourist spots need to have adequate female police and security personnel so that female tourists get more secure.
Hotel Cox Today Manager Operations Abu Taleb Shah said, "We have displayed the numbers of various law enforcement agencies in the lobby of the hotel. If any guest complains about harassment, we immediately notify the relevant law enforcement agency.”
SM Kibria, the founding president of the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh, said, "If tourists can't be provided security, why would they come here?"